Instincts Aren't Only Helpful For Animals

Why do birds fly south? How do they know how to do it? Why does a bear know how to hibernate? Or a caterpillar know to spin it’s cocoon? All these actions by animals are instinctual. They’re naturally instinctual creatures - as are we. But humans have become removed from our instincts. We have become far more trusting and reliant on external forces than those that we feel.

An instinct is a knowing or a feeling within your body that is a form of internal guidance. It is something that cannot be explained but only known. And felt. The more we move away from our bodies, the less likely we are to hear the internal guidance. We will always be receiving but we will not be listening. This is not something we should be turning our back on. We have been given instincts for a reason. It is a form of guidance that steers us in the right direction. It keeps us safe. It helps us make good decisions. Sometimes it even leads us to our soulmate. When a gut feeling is something you honour - you can be sure that you are receiving and following guidance that’s for your highest good.

For thousands for years humans have been acting on their instincts. A mother instinctively knows how to look after their child. And the baby relies on their instincts completely. They do not have any other frame of reference. Why did we stop relying on our instincts? What caused us to stop listening to them? The advance of the linear, scientific world started instilling the belief in society that if something can’t be proved then it's probably doesn’t exist. People started frowning upon others making decisions or taking action on instinct. “It's not real’ , “That isn’t sensible”, ‘Let's look at the facts’.

There are facts and then there is instinct.

Sometimes ( a lot) we get presented with a choice where the facts and contributing factors are so similar, that one does not stand out from the other. So how do we choose? Flip a coin? Or follow a gut feeling?

In this case a gut feeling is seemingly acceptable - if all other avenues of enquiry are eliminated, then we can only rely on one thing. Our instinct. And someone cannot argue with another persons instinct. It’s your own experience and feeling, not theirs.

Has there been a time in your life when you have had all the facts but not made a decision due to your instincts? I had this situation a few years ago where I was going to remove myself from a job that was making me unhappy. I really wanted to hand in my notice and my husband fully supported this decision . But something was stopping me . Even though it was what I wanted, I felt instinctively that it wasn’t right. So I waited . and then two weeks later we unexpectedly had to move, which meant had I quit that job by then, we would have not been able to afford the move. By listening to my instincts over my rational mind I was able to save us from a very difficult time. Eventually the move happened and I was then able to remove myself from the situation and instinctively knew it was the right time.

There is a constant struggle between the heart and the head. The head would represent the rational mind, the facts and evidence. The heart would represent instinct, feelings and an unexplainable sense of knowing. So often we are told we need to make decisions with a head not our heart. We are called to act on what the head rationalises is a good course of action , and to ignore the heart. A lot of time people who act on their hearts desires are seen to be impulsive, naive or foolish. But really they are the brave ones. They are the ones getting it right.

Your rational mind cannot point you to what you love. This is what your heart does. Your rational mind will not lead you to walk into that bookshop and bump into a friend you haven’t seen for ages. Your heart does. Your rational mind will not be able to choose a career path for you that fulfils your souls purpose and lights you up everyday. Your heart does. Your heart is more important than your mind. Your mind is filled with doubts and fears. The heart contains only love.

Make the decisions on your life based on love not fear. Take down the kingdom of the mind and let your heart run wild through your life. You attract more beauty into this world when you follow your heart. More people, more situations, more abundance. If you flow from your heart then love will flow to you. There is no need for mind based fear rooted decisions anymore.

Trust your heart. Trust your instincts. They will serve you well - just as they do for our animal friends.

Ollie NeveuAnimal Wisdom